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4 lessons in boosting retention from a 430,000-person global company

by Sarah Beldo
Editor-in-Chief, Compass by Guild
Sodexo has 430,000 employees and serves 80 million customers across 27,000 sites

Lesson 1: Orient your program to deliver on your EVP 

“If we aren’t delivering the development opportunities people are looking for, they are not going to prosper in their roles—and they will leave for one of our competitors.”

Nathalie Estellat, Group Learning and Development Chief Officer at Sodexo

Lesson 2: Design for the employee’s entire journey

Sodexo’s employee journey for operations academy is divided into three parts: Onboarding, continuous development, and going further.

“Successful onboarding is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. From increased productivity and lower turnover to enhanced customer satisfaction, investing in employee integration has many benefits.”

Nathalie Estellat, Sodexo

Lesson 3: Talk to employees—and design for their needs

“The number one most important thing for creating a successful program is to understand what your learners want to learn. Speak to them first.”

Nathalie Estellat, Sodexo
Image of Sodexo’s four-step process for designing for employees needs.

Lesson 4: When managers listen and are empathic , workers are engaged

“When managers engage with their employees, they’re less likely to walk away. And if we reduce employee turnover, we’ll enhance service delivery.”

Julie Fox, Senior Training Manager at Sodexo

Building on early wins for future success

Graph representing the 60% of pilots sites that decreased their regrettable turnover rate.

“We’re already bringing clarity to what they need to do today. Next, we will show them the possibilities to advance their career internally in the future.”

Nathalie Estellat, Sodexo

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